Pumpkin and Porcini Soup

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This thick, rich-tasting soup, which features the intense woodsy flavor of dried porcini, is a good choice for a chilly fall or winter day. Try it topped with quickly sautéed slightly bitter greens, such as endive. Try topping the soup with crisp garlicky croutons. It’s a good choice for the first course, because it’s light and colorful as well as delicious. Frozen puréed winter squash may be substituted for the pumpkin.pumpkins-2


Pumpkin and Porcini Soup
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
  • ½ cup broken pieces dried porcini mushrooms (about ¾ounce)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 large onions, minced (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, olive oil, or butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh sage (2 teaspoons dried)
  • dash of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup Marsala or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice and 1 cup water, or 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cups puréed cooked pumpkin (29-ounce can)
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk or half-and-half (optional)
  1. Break up any large pieces of porcini.
  2. Place the porcini in a heatproof bowl, cover with the boiling water, and set aside to soak.
  3. In a soup pot on medium heat, sauté the onions in the oil for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened.
  4. Add the garlic, fresh mushrooms, thyme, and sage, and sauté until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the nutmeg, Marsala or sherry, and soy sauce.
  6. Add the apple juice and water, or vegetable stock, and heat almost to a boil.
  7. Stir in the pumpkin.
  8. Remove the porcini from the soaking water with a slotted spoon and add them to the soup.
  9. Pour the soaking water through a coffee filter or a paper towel into another bowl to remove any grit, and add it to the soup.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. If you prefer a creamier soup, add the milk or half-and-half.
  12. Serve hot.
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